Energy Lobby Lauds the Bank of Central African States (BEAC)’s Authorization to Open Foreign Currency-labelled Escrow Accounts

In its Ordinary Meeting held on July 2nd, 2020, the Board of Directors of the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) has allowed the opening of foreign currency escrow accounts by petroleum and mining operators. The authorization was given within the implementation framework of key dispositions of Regulation No. 02/18/CEMAC/UMAC pertaining to foreign currency exchanges within the CEMAC region.

The African Energy Chamber wishes to salute such pragmatism and notes the BEAC’s willingness to offer the best enabling environment for the oil & gas industry in the wake of the ongoing crisis. Earlier this year, the Chamber had joined several industry stakeholders in calling on the BEAC to relax its currency controls rules adopted in June 2019.

“We applaud the BEAC for listening to the private sector concerns and for adopting a pragmatic approach to foreign currency regulations in the wake of the ongoing crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the historic crash in oil prices. Such a move falls in line with the African Energy Chamber’s commonsense agenda to help Africa recover from the Covid 19 pandemic,” declared Leoncio Amada NZE, President for the CEMAC region at the African Energy Chamber. “This is good for our local industry and for staying competitive. The measure will be a significant boost to local content development, and ultimately local jobs creation across Central Africa,” he concluded.

In its latest Commonsense Energy Agenda, the African Energy Chamber notably called on financial institutions and central banks to set up stronger dialogue mechanisms with the private sector and industry stakeholders to address current industry challenges. The Chamber notes the leadership of the BEAC in taking initiatives that will preserve jobs, encourage local content and help the oil & gas sector recover.

The Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) is made up of six states: Gabon, Cameroon, the Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, the Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea.

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